India is facing tremendous pressure from US for enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) since last few months, specifically with regards to concerns over violations of pharmaceutical patents in India.
Recent Issue – Dasatinib [Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)’s Cancer drug]
Dasatinib, an anti-cancer drug produced by pharma major Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia. Recently, the health ministry of India is exploring various options to revoke the patentee’s rights for Dasatinib, arguing that such move is required to deal with an “emergency”.
Although the health ministry is confident about revocation of Dasatinib’s patent, it is bound to attract stringent criticism from global pharmaceutical companies. However, such step by the health ministry of India can be attributed to the strong pressure exerted by public health groups, who usually reprimand the public authorities of being non-responsive to their concerns regarding affordability and availability of medicines for life-threatening diseases.
As per news reports, the health ministry is in communication with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), wherein it is being discussed that the cost of the drug produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will be met through government schemes.